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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 May;48(5 Suppl):S73-4.

A tattooed butterfly as a vector of atypical Mycobacteria.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel.


We report the first case of cutaneous inoculation of atypical Mycobacteria secondary to tattooing. The diagnosis of atypical Mycobacteria infection of the skin was confirmed on the basis of the clinical and histologic appearance, the detection of acid-fast bacilli on Ziehl-Neelsen stain, and positive polymerase chain reaction. The medical complications of tattooing, which are manifold, are briefly summarized. This case emphasizes the need for federal regulation of tattooing, which is an invasive procedures associated with infectious and noninfectious complications.

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